While it has become common for studio sports analysis teams to have a revolving door of changing faces practically every season, the TNT NBA studio team of former players Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, and studio host Ernie Johnson has remained together for the past 9 years. The acclaimed FOX NFL pregame lost its studio host, James Brown to CBS last year. But even as Johnson recovered from cancer two years ago Inside the NBA kept its team intact.
Ernie is often the straight man to Chuck’s comedy and Kenny “the Jet” Smith plays both sides. The show balances serious game analysis with humor seamlessly. Chuck, Kenny and Ernie sometimes disagree with each other, but the disagreements don’t escalate into the contentiousness (sometimes staged) that you see on other sports shows.
It would be interesting to see what the post-game ratings are for TNT’s NBA games are; my guess is there are quite a few viewers who stay tuned to hear Chuck, Ernie and Kenny’s post game remarks.